Black Men; They Could Be Heroes [Wright]

Black Men; They Could Be Heroes [Wright]

This article was written by Elizabeth Wright, editor of Issues and Views. The address, in case you wish to subscribe is Issues and Views, PO Box 467, Cathedral Station, New York, NY 10025. I had added some of my ideas in quotes.

The purpose of this article is not to slam the men of our community; but ra- ther, to get us to understand how far we've drifted from the legacy left to us by our ancestors. I hope everyone finds this a treat.

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We encounter them almost everywhere. Indigent black men who wander the streets public places of towns and cities, stationing themselves as unwanted doormen at entrances to stores and cash machines, begging for pittances in train and bus stations, making pests of themselves as they accost the windshields of cars, foraging in trash cans, and begging from children. A seemingly endless streams of lost souls w/ time on their hands and no place to go.

Are these men faced w/ the possibility of night riders bent on destroying whatever they create, as was S B Fuller, in the 1930s Louisiana, who came close to a face-off w/ the Klan, yet went on to establish and expand his phenomenally successful Fuller Products, which eventually employed hundreds of blacks acrossthe country?

Are these men living under the burden of oppressive Jim Crow Legislation as did Henry Allen Boyd who, nevertheless, in the 20s, developed one business after another in Nashville. founded a bank to provide capital for other entrepreneurs, all the while working to reform racist laws?

Surely, today's drifters need not be fearful of amassing capital lest it be snatched from them, a possibility that must have worried William Pettiford who, nonetheless, in 1899, as head of the Alabama Penny Loan and Savings Bank, provided loans to his fellow blacks, a task that gave him great pride and satisfaction.

How did the men who are today's vagabonds become so bereft of a sense of mission, if only for themselves? How is it that most of them have no knowlegde of the black men who, long before America's official slavery ended, long before anything called an Emancipation Proclamation, had the confidence to make the most of their free status and sustained their families in dignity? What force of circumstance so totally cut off today's derelicts from that tradition of blacks who would have preferred to die rather than be viewed as anything except as "credit to the race?"

The very real restrictions on black economic mobility in the past have been recountered in many sources. Historian John Sibley Bulter describes the mass of legislation, especially in the South, that was designed to limit the black man's ability to effectively compete in the marketplace w/ whites. Such laws forced blacks into what Butler calls an "economic detour", as they attempted, like members of all other groups, to create economic foundations thru business enterprise. Biased laws denied them the ability to expand their enterprises beyond the borders of black communities.

Yet, in spite of these "legal" maneuvers", over the generations, tens of thousands of black men mastered the economic principles that drove American society. Under the guidance and encouragement of leaders like Booker T Washington, a great many managed to prosper even w/in a lmtd economic niche. Butler reports that between 1867 and 1917, the number of black-owned businesses INCREASED from 4,000 to 50,000!

All this business activity is evidence of the family bonds that were strongly in place as brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles and offspring worked together to maintain the family businesses. In economist Tom Sowell's studies, he cites the critical importance of TRUST among members of various immigrant groups (something which we surely need), as they re-establish their lives in new countries, pooling resources and putting off immediate pleasures. Sowell claims that a sense of trust among members is the key to any grp's future progress. Among blacks, in this early period, the examples of familial cooperation are legion.

Pretentious "Intellectuals"

Yet, all the while that blacks were experiencing varying degrees of success as craftsman, farmers, business proprietors, and even as founders o towns in the South and Southwest, a growing number of "intellectuals" in the North were shaping agendas that eventually would re-direct the attention of the masses. More formally educated than most blacks and eager to enjoy life's comforts, their driving ambitions centered primarily around the trappings of success.

In the 1850s, abolitionist Martin Delaney described freed blacks who yearned for prestigious occupations. He exhorted them 1st to emulate others who un- derstood the necessity of educating their children "to do everyday pratical business." Such ppl were wise, said Delaney b/c they were willing to take one step at a time. Living in a period prior to the imposition of severe legal restricitions on black enterprise, Delaney intoned, "This has been one of our great mistakes- we have gone in advance of ourselves. We have commenced at the superstructure of the bldg, instead of the foundation- at the top instead of the bottom. We should 1st be mechanics and commom tradesmen, and professions as a matter of course would grow out of the wealth made thereby."

This was the course that would be followed in the early part of this century by the Tuskegee-inspired southern blacks. Delaney warned that those who would have blacks "leap too far" encouraged the young to possess either no "qualification at all, or a collegiate education," leaping from the deepest abyss to the highest summit, "w/out medium or intermission.

But the black elites were to take their lead from a band of white liberals and other black "scholars" and pendants,led principally by W. E. B. DuBois, a man who, by 1890, had achieved a doctorate from Harvard University. He was to play a major role in attempts to undermine Tuskegee's outstanding success w/ the poorest blacks. A highbrow snob, DuBois dismissed as unworthy the labor of craftsmen, farmers and business owners. In his zeal to drag all blacks thru his beloved halls of ivy, he talked of "turning carpenters into men". For, in that peculiar world into which he had assimilated, one who labored or was bereft of a college degree could hardly by considered a man (at least in DuBois' eyes, anyway). It is this pretentious spirit that was to become the hallmark ofthe black elite (and still exist today seeing DuBois is the "father" of the NAACP leadership, and others who follow this philosophy of elitism), whose overrriding influence whould shape the thinking and behavior of future generations of blacks.

Snobbery alone was not why ppl like DuBois set out to convince the masses that they shared the same interests as the elite. It became clear to this cynical crew, who were already actively soliciting whites for greater political and soical interaction, that success would be more likely if such demands were made in the name of theentire race, not just an affluent, educated gentry.

(I just finished re-reading Booker T Washington's autobiography: Up from Slavery. He talks about this attitude amongst our ppl during this time. We had just been recenlty emancipated from slavery, but many blacks back during this time had the idea that manual labor or hard work was demeaning.But this doesn't make sense b/c we worked our tails off for whites under slavery and many thought that by getting an education, we were somehow relieved of the physical toils of manual labor. This can't be the caseif we're to be about building for ourselves.)

Corrupting the Work Ethic.

Among blacks, the undiluted pretentions of this elite was legendary and had already become the stuff of mockery and ridicule, long before it was chronicled in the 40s and 50s by black sociologist E. Franklin Frazier. >From earliest times, it is members of this elite, more concerned w/ image and immediate gratification than w/ the task of bldg, who have sent forth signals that have contributed to undermining the work ethic among the poor.

Zealous in their own desires to avoid the prospect of menial labor, they encouraged the poor to disdain "dead end jobs and to hold out for meaningful work". (Now the point here is not to slam our community for our lack of training, which may be one major reason for denial of higher paying wages, but it is setting a mental block that certain jobs are to be refused b/c "they don't pay enough." But if the job market has nothing else to offer, what are we to do? And remember, our parents would take whatever job they could find to put food on our tables. This work ethic is not there today.) On a practical level, the unemployed poor also play important roles as symbols.

Held as hostages in the war against "the system", they can be publicly displayed as more victims of "racism", a situation best dealt w/ by devising more and more social programs (many which are doomed to fail before they get out of the gate b/c of gross mismanagement and an inept bureaucracy feeding off of the poverty they are supposed to "cure). The msg of the elite has taken firm root in the culture of the poor.

In a 1989 interview, george Waters, director of EDTEC, an organization in Camden, NJ (Camden, NJ is adjacent to Philadelphia only being separated by the Delaware River), that teaches entrepreneurial skills to youth, described the greatest obstacle to youngsters' success as "attitude". Waters said, We're up against unproductive attitudes toward work, which have been instilled into theseyoungsters, not only by thier peers on the streets, but also by parents who actually tell their kids that working for fast food wages is beneath them. (Here is a big problem. Many poor kids whose parents may be on welfare, for example, may not have employable skills. But they want the better things of society, and may not be willing to work for them. So a kid thinks it's better to take an easier route to gets these material items. It's the wanting of material goods which becomes the goal in the minds of the kids and not realizing one has to prepare oneself w/ skills via education and studying for get a job in the open job market- assuming they are there. Quite naturally, hustling and drug sales provide the ends but the means are devastating to our community). There are adults who actually pass such notions on to kids."

In another era, before the corrupt views of the elite achieved dominance, the humblest blacks believed what Sowell teaches, that there is no such things as a dead end job-that it is up to the individual to turn every work experience into a chance to either learn skills, or improve work habits, or position oneself for achieveing still higher goals.

CLiftom Taulbert demonstrates this spirit in his memiors of hissouthern childhood and youth. He is the author of 2 books that celebrate the character and moral fiber of the citizens of his segregated home town of Glen Allen, Ms., where he grew up in the 50s. In the 60s, like other young ppl, he struck out for St Louis, where social change was just beginning to stir, and where he landed a job as a dishwasher in a major restaurant. Back home, Taulbert had been part of a poor, but close family, for whom work was an imperative and the expected norm. He had grown up w/ ppl who instilled in him and ambition to succeed. In his 2d book, "The Last Train North", he describes how the dishwashing job,and how his days were filled w/ "grease and soap suds."

What is important is his attitude toward that job. He saw it as a way to pay his share of expenses to the relatives in St Louis w/ whom he lived. He spent his spare time diligently searching employment ads and going on interviews arranged by an agency. He says, "I washed those pots and pans w/ an intensity, b/c I was determined to wash my way out of that grease room." And indeed he did wash his way out, and went on to become a successful businessman. Today he would be discouraged from the ever taking taht 1st lowly "degrading" position.

Taulbert's life had been surrounded not by ppl who fed him defeatist notions, but by those from whom hw drew inspiration. He writes, "My family down South had dreamed of better things for me and I could not let them down. (I think we all have this same drive for success and work ethic. The problem is a generation of our community has gotten to used to welfare, that it has corrupted that same work ethic. And replaced it w/ a defeatist attitude which traitorous "ldrs" continue to feed off of as proof for more such programs- programs which continue to sap away our creative spirit. So now, it becomes imperative to reject such programs and move back to ethic we had before.) The stack of pots filled t hat washroom, but memories of the southern voices crowded into that little room w/ us. and enabled me to look beyond."

Disdain for Small Businesses

In interviews, members of today's black elite make clear that even Mom and Pop ventures are to be avoided, since they are not "viable" businesses that can produce the high incomes to which they would like to become accustomed. Busy as members of this class are w/ trying to break thru those glass ceilings in white corporations, in their quest for higher level pos'ns, they cannot summon the concern to help those on the lowest rungs find the economic means to create these smaller enterprises.

A recent publication from a black Washington, DC "think tank" offers a brief historical survey of Amercian black business, and then condescendingly dismisses the many small businesses that were formed. The article laments that, "The blacks who were lured into the world of business in the 20s were typically not the ones who were highly educated", and goes on to imply that since such businesses were not created by the more affluent and did not grow beyond a ltd size, they were hardly worth noting. Get it? Those thousands of black-owned businesses that were created by the humblest (of) ppl and had sustained families and employed children, were not the "viable" kind that would be acceptable to the nee ds of the better classes.

Parasites on the Poor

After last year's riots in LA, it was no surprise that middle class blacks closed ranks around the vandals (not assuming all the rioters were black, however) and explained away the roots of the rioting w/ the tired old charges of "societal neglect". This was a sure way to deflect those taboo questions from being asked of them: "What are you (ppl) doing about the mess in the black community?" and "Where is the input of the middle class?... other than as apologists and makers of excuses for inexcusable acts." (Both these questions are relevant seeing South Central LA has deteriorated over the past 30 years. What have our "ldrs" been doing during this time? It's been appoximately 30 years since the Watts riots and the situation in South Cen- tral LA hasn't improved that much- other than former Mayor Bradley holding an office for much of that time, w/ nothing being accomplished. They've been benefitting from the social programs they have managed which supposed to work for our benefit). Those are questions you can be certain that members of the friendly liberal media will never ask.

Sociologist Nathan Hare writes, "Members of the black middle class essentially occupy a parasitic relationship to the black underclass." Consumed primarily w/a quest for recogniton and validation, they derive satisfaction only to the degree that the white wrold grants them "here a news anchor (job), there a distributorship." TV journalist Tony Brown, his syndicated column, regulary berates members of this class for neglecting to take up their responsibility to lead w/ thier money, instead of w/ rhetoric and bluster. He views their indifferenceas the true waste in the black community. Brown claims that the only role played by middle class is as "managers of resources allocated by gov't and corporateprograms." They are, in effect, overseers of the bounty. He charges them w/ acknowledging a connection to their race, in order to "pick up their affirmative action paychecks." (This is an acknowledgement of these "overseers" as being the primary beneficiaries of these social programs, not the ppl they claim they are serving).

A disproportionate number of these elites shamelessly earn their livings directly off the adversities of the poor. Are black men shooting one another down in the streets and filling up the prisons across the land? Are black teens irresponsibly producing babies....? Members of the middle class view such tragedy as "opportunities" for personal advancement. For every demonstration of pathology offers the chance to submit "proposals" for yet newer and trendier social programs that will, of course require the input of the elites' wise and judicious expertise. (In fact, each tragedy in our community has its own armies of social workers eager to verify their nebulous theories about our behavior. Our "ldrs" conveniently "volunteer" our participation w/ these exp'ts so they can collect their booty). Black social problems offer unltmd fodder for workshop topics and themes for the endless string of conferences funded by (the) Philip Morris(es)and Anheuser-Busches(es) and hosted by the growing numbers of black socialscientists and talk circuit riders.

The Miltiants

No grp understood the self-interest and hypocrisy of the elite better than the militants, the self-proclaimed black nationalists. More connected to the grassroots, thruout the 60s the militants publicly confronted and badgered the black middle class for their exploitative role. Loud and belligerent, militants pro- moted racial solidarity, while threatening to hold the "sell-out bourgeoisie" accountable for their indifference to the real needs of the poor. If any grp stood a chance to rallying the poor to take initiatives in their own behalf, the down-home, no-nonsense militants might have pulled it off. Invoking the rhetoric of Marcus Garvey's self-help movement, they talked a powerful line. (However, the militants role was soon diminished during the latter part of the 60s and early 70s. In fact, their role become one of a joke, laughed to scorn as they were not taken serioulsy no more. What happened? Anybody remember James Brown's song "Talkin' Loud and Sayin'Nothing? Well, the militants were doing a lot of loud talking, and little action to back up the talk).

And they talked and talked, and talked. (Ppl got tired of their talk w/ no action to back it up.) Except for the few who were to make national headlines for varying forms of violence, talking is just about all they did. As media promotion turned many of them into instant celebrities, some became heady in the limelight. (Now the elite also exploited tactics used by the militants to make it more appealing to the "grassroots". Many "ldrs" like Jesse Jackson immemdiately picked up on this tactic and became the "spokesmen" for our community. The liberal media also helped by promoting their faces in the public's eye so much even we have accepted their "leadership" and played along w/ the act.) It was not long before the world was witness to their hypocrisy. For when the gov't money began pouring in to pay for Great Society programs, the militants beat the bourgeoisie to the head of the line to cash in. They proved to be as imaginative as the rest of the pack in devising worthless but lucrative social programs. Lacking an iota of sincerity, and caught up as they were in the trappings of Anti-Marxist dogma, they proved to be yet another faction who viewed the black poor as personal property, ripe for the picking.

As had been pointed out in several candid works by blacks, an attachemnt to socialist principles has proven a comfortable cop-out for a great many black men-providing a rationale for the ongoing expression of anger at the white man's "system, and alibis for not becoming active economic competitors. The fear of failure has made many fall prey to the seduction of the political left. Nathan Hare in "The Endangered Black Family", discusses the tension that such defenses create, claiming that at the heart of the discord between many black men andwomen is the woman's suspicion that, "the black man's chant is but an unconscious evasion for his own incompetence and reluctance to contend in the marketplace."

Hare laments the fact that the vitality of this angony man is spent on what he calls the "dream-scheme complex", a mental fantasyland that prevents him from dedicating his energies to the "necessary day-to-day endeavors in the mundane world." Eventually scorned by others, his defensive posturing only increases, "in such a way as to externalize every portion of the responsibility for his fate away from himself."

Todays' militant has transformed himself from the Marxist ideologue to "Afrocentrist", and an idealised groupness which, like its Marxist soul mate, denigrates individual initiative.And since nothing could be more incorrect these days than to openly follow the teachings of a very Dead White European Male (along w/ his expoused economic theories), the collectivist message must be garbed in the sanctity of African "communalism". Although our current militant has hitched his socialist wagon to an Afrocentrist start, the messgage he spouts makes it clear that his Chieftain is still none other than old Uncle Karl decked out out in Kente cloth.

One could call it blasphemous that, almost to a man, these militants pay homage to Marcus Garvey, making claim to his strong nationalist teachings. Every year,they come on his birthday and other occassions to celebrate their patron saint. Yet, there was no greater advocate of capitalism than Garvey. Not only did he show blacks, by example, how to access the economic system, he taught that capitalism was the best route to prosperity for the "little man." He abhorred all forms of collectivist schemes, claiming that communism "robs the individual of his personal initiative and ambition or the result thereof." (We have ample proof of this by witnessing the fall of communism in Eastern Europe all w/the former Soviet Union. In more practical terms, we see examples of how socialist welfare programs rob our own ppl of their initiatives, while our "ldrs" become the prime benefactors of our condition).

(Marcus Garvey strictly denounced Communism and their socialist theories as a sol'n to our plight. In fact, during the 30s a large number of his confron- tations were w/ "black" communists who believed in socialists ideals. Garvey saw thru the communists game of using our community to further their own objectives, as many other libreal types still do today, and not really caring about our overall condition in the United States).

Not for Garvey the depiction of poverty as a morally superior state or condition. On the contrary, he indicated that a man who remained poor was evidence of someone who had failed to make the most of his abilities and world's opportunities. The nationalism of yesterday's militant or today's Afrocentrist is w/out focus or base. Garvey's brand of nationalism had an economic mooring and purpose, and it gave his followers constructive goals towards which to work. Garveyites were to be "up and doing," they were to be achievers.

Men of Authority

Those black men of that earlier period of our history, who took the lead in the entrepeneural activities, were looked upon as the natural authority figures in their communities, held in regard by their peers and respected by the young. They were driven by the same natural urges so well described in George Gilder's book- "Men and Marriage"- an innate understanding of their, dare we say it?, masculine responsibility.

After citing the all too well-known statistics that show single men of all grps as more prone to mental and chronic diseases and the perpetrators of most crime, Gilder describes the manner in which American social policy, most of which nolonger reinforces the family, consequently induces men to disrupt rather then support society.

As historical fact and as common sense, it once was accepted wisdom that the major reason for the institution of marriage, which assures a man's union to a woman, was to help put brakes on men's aggressiveness- to turn their focus away intemperate self-indulgance toward more responsible behavior. Gilder claims that when normal socializing restraints are no longer in place and the social institutions deny the basic terms of male nature, "masculinity makes men enemies of family and society." And where a welfare bureeaucracy has entirely replaced their economic function, men are even less likely to play positive roles in the ongoing sustencance of communities (What a strange coincidence w/ our condition today. Very prophetic insight. Hmm...).

As feminists and homosexuals increasingly influence the making of public policy, they are helping to establish directives and laws that are detrimental to family cohesiveness. Can we soon expect to see changes in the behavior of young men of other grps who, in growing numbers, will begin to duplicate the hostile patterns of the young black male?

As is clear from the study of all grps, as well as those earlier "segregated" black communities, where married men function as husbands and fathers, it is they who set the tone and influence the nature of the community. Among blacks, where almost 60% of men are single "rolling stones", it is they who set the tone in ghetto neighborhoods. Author Jawanzaa Kunjufu speculates that, "By the year 2000<, 70% of all black males will be unavailable to black women- in gangs, unemployed or on drugs." (I believe that trend is something many black women can verify right now. Also recently, I read some hate literature from a skin-head grp claiming it is the plan of these hate-grps to "eliminate" our population by our men's participation in rolling stone life-style vagabonds, gang members, or homosexu- als- not that they control our behavior, but we are certainly making their job a lot easier. In fact, I would not be surprise if many of these hate-grps are behind the trafficking of illegal drugs decimating our community. Such men cannot or will not be worthy for many sisters as future husbands. This number also includes those who are in prisons.) And,might we add still (in Stanley Crouch's opinion) another possible loss, given the advent of school curricula that glamorize homosexuality.... (in the name of tolerance?).

(Such curricula are already underway in many major city public schools now. And guess who's backing the teaching of such moral garbage? -That's right. The NAACP has backed and "endorsed" such curricula- at least, the leadership of th organization has b/c the members have not had the opportunity to express their opinion on it seeing last July's mtg had this issue censored by said leadership. Whether or not the NAACP leadership is challanged on this still remains to be seen. The last delegeate mtg showed the "ldrs" re- luctance to discuss the issue w/ the overall body. I wonder how long they can continue to do that, and claim to be our "spokesmen and women". It's just a matter of time when more members will leave the NAACP b/c of the "ldrs" refusal to listen to its membership. In fact, I believe this is happening already, now that some "conservative blacks" are having their viewpoints heard publicly. I also wonder if there will be a plan to "silence" these "conservatives". Watch out for future propaganda side shows as both sides try to line up their views to confront one another. Does this mean "disunity" w/in the house of our community? No. But it should note every house may have varied opinions.

The NAACP-type grps have allowed their viewpoints to be the only "official" viewpoint. It's, therefore, of no coincidence that they have rec'd the media backing from liberal white press. "Conservative" blacks as a term should be irrelevant anyway. We need to use a common- sense approach to deal w/ our problems. Many times there is no need for a political front which the NAACP (or their leadership, anyway) wishes to put everything on. And as "conservative" blacks make this known, they are slammed as UNCLE TOM'S. This recently occurred in one of the latest issues of Emerge magazine. Ben Chavis gives his "version" of the last delegate mtg where objections were heard. He had an interview w/ a reporter from the magazine; but he never discussed why some delegates (who he call "right-wing reactionaries") wanted an explanation for the NAACPs association of Homosexual causes to be equivalent to ours- which is what cause the "disruption" to begin w/.

The Moynihan Report

Nathan Hare considers irreparable the damage done by black intellectuals and later by white feminists, who undermined and eventually destroyed the credibility of the 65 Moynihan Report- a document of research and analysis that gravely warned of oncoming collaspe of the black family. (Recently white feminists grps banned together in criticizing efforts of some Detroit blacks who wish to develop separate schools for the young black males in that city, as if they really care about any education our sons or daughters get. But, again, no rallying cry from the black elite to support the efforts of the schools to be formed in Detroit. Why?).

The report's urgane message emphasized the need for policies designed to strengthen the economic role of black men. Embarassed by the frankness of the report and its bleak picture of abandoned women and children, defensive throngs of black academicians and other notables, along w/ pandering whites, worked to suppress the report's further distribution, and attacked its conclusions as "racist".

Hare says of this period, "While black intellects w/ their condominiums and 2-car garages, continue to ferret out and assert the "strengths' of the black family, everywhere we went black ppl were crying the blues, as male-female conflict mounted and things continued to fall apart." Once again, interfering and opportunistic black elites, buttressed by whites, set agendas and, in effect, decided the fate of the black masses. By denying the severity of deep-seated patterns, they stood by as the black family continued to crumble.

The experience of Black Americans should be instructive, to one, and all and for generations to come, as evidence of what happens when men lose their (role of) moral authority in the affairs of their own community. As black youngsters spin out of control, grasping at all wrong methods to attain the recognition that would be theirs in stable family life, they have bacome menaces even to themselves. Not only are wild, unruly boys failed by the adults, they learn early that black men, especially, haven't a clue about how to get a handle on the unremitting social decline.

(Many ppl do have answers, but the "mainstream ldrs" want to make this a political affair so they can extort money for more gov't programs. The problem is our's and we have to solve it- w/out gov't intervention. But, as always, our "ldrs" continue to believe going to gov't and throwing the problem at the gov't's feet is the way to go. Ideas which disagree w/ this approach is slammed especially if it challanges the "ldrs" politics. Remember a point I made in part one of this article showing how these "ldrs" are the real beneficiaries of such programs while the masses are held hostage to their rhetoric and politics).

Earlier this year (1993), in Chicago, for example, a grp of black men participated in a series of so-called summit mtgs w/ members of street gangs. The gangleaders were encouraged to declare "truces" to lmt their (turf) "wars" on the community. They signed, along w/ neighborhood dignitaries, documents called "peace treaties". All of this formal ceremony took place, as the youth were treated as diplomats or "heads of state". Meanwhile, in another city, a grp of black men aiming to stem local violence, formed a "rap" grp appropriating the children's own symbols of rebellion. This was done, they explained, so they might better "relate" to the youth. And similar antics are being duplicated in cities around the country.

(Now no one is slamming these efforts to get gang members to understand the violence has no place in the community. In fact, such efforts should always encouraged. But, rather, it's the timing and political propaganda undertones which should concern all black ppl. Our communities have been steadily becoming more violent in the past 30 years or so. Why, now, have these "ldrs" decided it is appropriate to "take a stand" against the violence? It's funny that these mtgs were planned right after the LA riots in 1992. But as I have said earlier, "where have our 'ldrs' been the past 30 years?" The streets in our communities didn't just deteriorate overnight. So one may be inclined to believe an ulterior motive may be at work here.)

(When Ben Chavis become the exec director of the NAACP, I believe it is his main objective to put the NAACP "in the spotlight" of things concerning our community. No better way to do this than to "enlist" the help of street gangs by having it appear like they are really doing something for the community. But this attempt is 30 years too late. Will these street gang members have any say in political matters of the NAACP? I doubt it. If anything, from the last delegate mtg of the NAACP, regular members were upset b/c they were left out of the decision making process concerning the supporting of homosexual rights and the association of our struggle and the homosexual community, in general. Is anyone naive enough to think Ben Chavis, and others are really concerned about the gangs? If they are, then why were 30 years of neglect by our "ldrs" been allowed to occur? The easy answer to that question would probably be Ben Chavis saying something like "the NAACPs leadership has gone thru a change ((I'll say it has)), and they are more 'caring' now.")

(Last night on CNBC, there was a show hosted by Geraldo Rivera. He had some unknown plain black folx, along w/ 2 young black teenagers- one I believe was a gang member from New York City. Even the common black folx denounced our "ldrs" by calling them "poverty pimps", signifying they do not approve of the "mthds" our "ldrs" use to solving our problems. This appeared to stun Geraldo b/c the ideas coming out of the mouths of these folx would be labelled "conservative". But it was pure common sense. They said, "we are not not afraid of our children", and "we need to take back our streets.").

What more pathetic demonstrations could there be of the black man's total failure as a moral voice? (Very interesting question which I know I've posed many times on this net.) Here are wayward boys who, at the very least, need to have their ears boxed, and at the most, ought to be disciplined and punished by tough, caring men. Instead, it is the boys who have the upper hand and call the shots in the new-found self- importance, while making their elders look like fools. (The examples or roles models of fathers is crucial here. We all are aware that there are many fatherless homes in our community. The role of men is very important in setting the direction for the community. Now this does not downplay the role of mothers- many who have to be both mother and father b/c a young child's father fled the scene for whatever reason. Young boys w/out the guidance, therefore, seek to make their own role models w/ gang membership, drug selling, and other activities which bring devastation to our community. Are we to expect women to wear the responsibility that we, men, have decided to forfeit? It's so bad now that public schools are indoctrinating the our son's w/ homosexual curricula... in the name of tolerance. What aspect of black manhood do our sons have to look forward to? Our roles are, therefore, very important. And no gov't or social programs can replace the importance of fathers providing moral guidance for their families.) Worse, such accommodating behavior on the part of adults send clear signals to black youth, who find fewer men to respect, that they will be rewarded after committing even the most heinous offenses. These boys are w/out fathers, grandfathers or uncles, to observe and emuulate, and the men whose tactics are recounted above do nothing to increase their youthful regard for black men. Where can any community expect to end up when the masses of its men no longer command the respect of its sons? When most of its youth grow to percieve male authority as hollow and feeble and, often, even laughable?

Black Men Were Producers

None of the men cited above are in a pos'n to offer any economic alternatives to these boys, b/c THEY HAVE CREATED NOTHING OF ECONOMIC VALUE. Most who participated in the "treaty" signings were church pastors, others described themselves as "community activists". Not one man in the bunch was in a pos'n to take a boy under his wing and offer him a job.

Such was not always the case among blacks. The sons of Isiah Montgomery, for example, knew the power of a father's authority, as they watched him and relatives, in the late 1880s, carve the town of Mound Bayou, Ms, out of a wilderness. So did the sons of businessmen Philip Payton, George Whitelaw Lewis, John Merrick, Joseph Lee, William Pettiford, John Mitchell, S.B. Fuller and countless others whose names are lost in history. (Not to mention Booker T Washington, who built Tuskegee Institute w/ nothing other than a hand full of change in his pocket. Tuskegee Institute is now one of the finest AA Universities in the country.) So did the sons of farmers and craftsmen and cooks and butlers. These men were not confused about the roles they were obligated to play in the protection and sustenance of their families. (This shows we have numerous examples of builders w/in our own history to use as examples. But do we really KNOW our history? And this does not infer we blame whites for not teaching us our history- which some black ppl do sometimes. Clearly we've lost the legacy and work ethic our ancestors had at striving to build better lives for their families and their community. Historical events have clearly made our ppl a collective body in many ways. And today, we are allowing a large number of young black men, possibly destroy our future b/c of lack of guidance. But should we look to the gov't via social agenices, or the majority society to provide that guidance? -No!)

Those businessmen among them took risks using their money and expertise to develop the communities in which they lived, even during the worst days of hostility toward our race. They did so not b/c it was considered "courageous" thing to do, but b/c this is what was expected of them, this is what men did. And the boys watched and learned form what they saw, and knew what would be expected ofthem one day. They saw black men as creators, producers and initiators of opportunities, instead of as passive agents awaitng some inevitable fate. (What happened to bring about this long-lost legacy?)

Escape to the Church

The writer of Ecclesiates asks, "For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?" Our black men once has a ready answer to that question. If so many of them no longer know how to answer this question, it might very well be due to the legacy of the Civil Rights movement and strategems that have been forcefully transmitted by the black church for the past 30 years. Few institutions in this country have a nobler image than the black church. Endlessly praised for its early role in an antagonistic world, it is generally considered off lmts to close inspection or criticism.

(Now the author is going to look at the black church's role in our community development. The points she strived to bring out here are not directed to all churches. Churches play an immensely important role in the spiritual development of any community. The questions Elizabeth Wright is about to pose is what happens when churches don't live up to their role. This is happening in our community, by the way. In fact, I can admit that I did not want to listen to Salvation Msg of Jesus Christ).

(A lot had to do w/ the way this Msg was being portrayed to me via the example of black churches in our community. However God is no respector of persons- He loves us all and sent Christ to die for our sins too. When this Msg is not being protrayed by our churches, then what use do they have to us? Many ppl in our community, quite naturally, shun away from the church b/c of "hypocrites" they see claiming to be Christians. The example they see are "preachers" who are not living up to some std Christians or ministers of the Faith are supposed to be. However, later on in life, I discovered the meaning behind the Msg is "Salvation thru Christ". And it has nothing to do w/ skin color or political persuasion. Many churches are not delivering that msg, and they have God to deal w/ for not living up to their responsibility).

It was not off lmts, however, in the early 1900s, to Booker T Washington's piercin scrutiny. In fact, one of the reasons why Washington was resented by the elites of his day was the laserlike probe he turned on the various hypocrisies of certain blacks, and his no- nonsense assessment of them. When it came to the disproportionate numbers of black men who became "preachers" or took to politics for a living, he could be merciless in his criticism.

He publicly lamented the loss to the race of its most vigorous and ambitious men, who chose these easier paths to esteem and financial support. Washington claimed that as soon as some black men "halfway learn to read and write," they grabbed a Bible and ran to a open a church or they took to a political stump. Or they did both. (It should be pointed out that not everyone can "become" a preacher. 1st, one has to have the highest moral codes to live by to set an example for community members to emulate. This is more for spiritual character they are to be for the rest of us, at large. 2d, one's devotion to God and His Word has to be the main motivating factor. Do we see this in large numbers from many churches w/in our community?Totally, probably not). He (Washington) viewed this behavior as setting a precedent that could ultimately weaken the race. For, instead, of playingeconomically productive roles, as did their counterparts such men removedthemselves from the critical task of economic development. As solo operators, and heads of their own little private constituency of loyal followers, they could confidently look forward to some degree of prestige and dependable income. (One has to wonder why churches are the only real institution which thrives in our community. There can be many reasons for this, but one reason is many feel "called" to become preachers. But I'm not saying this to slam churches. As I said before, there are some churches where the leaders are of impeccable quality, but there are many who are not. In many cases such men are not inspired by God to preach. One should not take it up- on ones self to be a preacher. There is a difference. How is the everyday person to know this difference? Jesus said, " their fruits, you will know them.....").

Washington decried this "escape to the church", which usually included some heroic notions about finding grand sol'ns to the race problem. He was alarmed by the fact that the minds of a great many blacks were so "filled w/ the traditions of anti-slavery struggle," that it prevented them from "preparing for any definite task in the world." Instead, he complained large numbers fixed on the idea of "preparing themselves to solve the race problem." B/C of the tradition of riding the circuit to preach abolition, there was already a strong tendency among many black men to view themselves as heirs to the great abolitionists, such as Frederick Douglass, and emulate these figures as a rte to glory and prominence. (So right here, the motivation is wrong to be called a Man of God. Glory and prominence are the last things on the mind of a man convicted w/ the right spiritual insight he receives. And, again, one may see how some did not want to toil and strive thru hard work for the race. Rather, some decided becoming a preacher was a lot easier. But w/out conviction and dedication, many churches only become a bldg w/ 4 walls, and a personal oasis for the pastor of the local flock.)

Over the years, Washington developed friendships w/ numbers of black ministers, several of whom he admired and respected. But that did not cloud his judgement about what was really at the bottom of why so many men chose this profession, (and still do today) this "safe haven" away from the competition. One year, when he was on a train ride from Alabama to Washington, DC, his train was boarded by a couple of dozen of black preachers who, apparently, were on the way to the capital for a church convention. They filled the car w/ laughter and high spirits, as they dined on home lunches smoked, played cards, drank bootleg liquor, and engaged in telling the coarse, off-color jokes. In observing their behavior and listening to their convesation, it struck Washington that "almost anybody who took a mind to it" could be a preacher.

He was reminded of a joke about a poor farmer them making the rounds. It seems that the farmer, after spending years w/ his mule plowing hard, unyielding soilin the hot sun for long hrs every day, decided he had had enough if such labor. One day he put down his plow and looked to the sky and proclaimed, "Oh God, this sun is so hot, and this ground so hard, I do believe this Negro is called to preach." Could it be our misfortune that, almost a cnetury later, so many black men are still dropping the plow (for economic development) and hearing the "call" to preach?

This latter assessment is portayed inhis autobiography: Up From Slavery.

Continuing onward in the discussion of "Black Men: They could be Heores". The following are some of my ideas.

My previous post of Elizabeth Wright's article left off talking about how some preachers in churches in our community have abused their pos'n. A good number of these ministers are concerned about the size of their church and whether or not all the seats are filled in the bldg. Even sometimes a minister's success is judged by the size of his church and the number of members attending the church.

This is not the reason men are called to become preachers. A "Man of God" is more concerned about the spiritual matters that surrounds his community. He does have a responsibility to his "flock", but he is not concerned about the glamorous aspects of his ministry. His priorities are set by the following: God is number one in his life; 2nd comes his family responsibility, 3rd is his ministry, and 4th, 5th, 6th would probably be politics if he has the time left to tackle these problems.

In some churches, the reverse may have happened. B/C of charges of neglect of our community, many ministers take on politics. There are 2- 3 reasons for doing this. One, there may be a geniune need to help the community; 2, said ministers may feel a need to "increase his sphere of influence" (such as Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson and Louis Farrakhan). These men appear to be more comfortable w/ their faces in the limelight. They may appear there so much, it becomes a battle to find new "causes" to have ppl believe they are helping the community. (Funny how many of our "ldrs" are tradionally from the pulpit.)

But a real leader, confident in himself, quietly builds behinds the scenes not creating a notice to himself. Such a leader refrains from the limelight, and really spends his/herself getting our ppl involved in doing things to take charge of their lives. They don't believe one should waste a lifetime blaming white folx for all of our problems. We have to deal w/ these, and we need to do what is best to alleviate the effects of them on us and our children which follow behind us. Do we have men w/ these virtues? Yes. Men like Rob Woodson and his organization helping our ppl become competitors in building businesses and creating jobs for themselves and their respective communities, is just one to serve as an example. His orga- nization (NCNE) called Nat'l Center for Neighborhood Enterprises is show- ordinary street folk what is necessary to take charge of their lives; how to create businesses and employ themselves, etc.

Continuing on the line of virtues a leader has, is he/she may or may not be of a charmistic personality. Such personalilty traits are irrelevant b/c these ppl are more concerned about doing, rather than talking. Many of our "ldrs" do the exact opposite. By loud talking ((even in rhymes a lot)), they seek to do whatever is necessary to tell ppl what they want to hear. They don't tell them ((or show by example)) what is necessary to change our predicament in this country. It is easy to understand, therefore, what the lyrics behind James Brown's: Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing song is all about.

Men like Jackson, etc. bask in the limelight of media coverage. They offer no strategems for creating a competitive edge in our community. No. They do the opposite- having us continue to go to gov't w/ our hands out. This is certainly not the legacy our ancestors had. Certainly not the one they would like to see us continue on. Why is it that we have drifted away from the legacy of bldg from our ancestors to one of political vagabonds?

Perhaps reliance on the Civil Rights movement too much convinced us the problems would be solved. We all know this is not true. 30 years later, and we are still struggling as hard as ever. We've made some successes in getting black politicians elected, but we haven't advanced much on the economic front as a collective body. Going to the gov't won't do this, seeing that many social agencies usually control the lives of the individuals it is trying to help. Therefore a new strategy is needed to focus our community on economic development.

The ideas of self-reliance has always been proven to be those which work. And we have examples of such w/in our history which may have be forgotten. And now to continue w/ the rest of Elizabeth Wright's artilcle.

The King Legacy

Unlike black businessmen, black preachers are numerous and everywhere. In some cities, black-owned newspapers fill several pages, not only w/ listings ofall black churches in town (along w/ each pastor's photo), but also w/ announcements of ordinations (recently completed and forthcoming). In the 50s, sociologists E. Franklin Frazier discussed the question of whether the Negro population was "over churched". The subject is still as pertinent today. In terms of its most prominent and wealthiest members, Black Americans could be called "a race of athletes, entertainers, and preachers." A grp w/ a miniscule number of entrepeneurs, it is understandable why its members are totally dependent on others for employment.

>From early on, there were blacks expressing the concern that every time a black man built a church, instead of a business, he established his own personal "cathedral of commerce," to benefit himself and few others. In recent years, it has been pointed out that if the same percentage of the country's Asian men were to take to the pulpit, the political stump, the basketball court, or the entertainment stage, the masses of Asians would find themselves on the bottom of the economic barrel. Ditto for Greeks, Poles, et. al.

The fact of Martin Luther King, Jr's singular success as a heralded preacher plays so small part in the decisions of men to enter his profession. In an earlier period, the abolitionist was to be emulated; today is the civil rights leader.

The precedent set by King to downplay the importance of economic independence, as he pushed for integration into white institutions, is fundamental to the ongoing decline of black masses. Despite the sometimes intense differences of opinion among blacks over Shahrazad Ali's 2 books on black men and women, she has correctly assessed the implications of King's legacy. Ali charges that King's very agenda, that is, encouraging blacks to take the final steps to dismantle all that we had built together, has "ended up being the very foundation of the problems blacks face today." In a stinging appraisal of King's msg, she points out a number of reasons why King makes a poor role model for today's young black men.

Since the King movement was defined by whites as "non-violent," those who opposed his strategies were viewed as possibly being for violence. However, many opposed King for his promotion of what historian Harold Cruse calls "non-economic liberalism." This year, a researcher's op-ed article describes King, speaking before a grp of whites in the 60s, sounding almost apologetic. As if to reassure his white audience that the drive for integration would not be deferred, he explained that it might be necessary to "temporarily" maitain some black businesses and schools "to prevent the loss of economic power that could result from complete integration."

So, the Great Leader, recognized that integration which meant the inevitable destruction of black cultural life (an important unifying vehicle), could mean the loss of economic power for his ppl. Yet he went on to drop the original call for desegregation and became integration's most persistent proponent. The question is, how much did he know (or surmise) and when did he know it?

King Just Like Other Leaders

Contrary to what some would have us believe, everything about King's public history indicates that he probably would be in support of much of civil rights policy that has transpired over the last 30 years- including the mass of affirmative action laws and biased quota stipulations. Eager to protect the Hero's image, King advocates prefer to believe that he would have taken rtes different from those of the current opportunistic Civil Rights crew, most of whose efforts benefit black middle class. Citing King's call for the judging of individuals by the "content of their character," his champions claim that those who now wear his mantle would not have King's blessing.

But the dubious and artificial role of "civil rights leader," a post to which no one gets elected (Jessie Jackson conveniently assumed the reigns) requires the constant nurturing of all kinds of bedfellows, if power is to be retained. Faced as Ben Chavis was w/ a withered membership, when he took over the NAACP earlier this year (1993), King too would have been compelled to turn to manipulative interests grps such as feminists, homosexuals, and others, and to consort even w/ gang members, in efforts to expand his organizational base. (These same items I discussed in earlier parts of the article).

As a faithful follower of the agendas set by white liberals, there is no reason to believe that King would not have joined w/ those who are responsible for encouraging the almost daily appearanceof a new grp of ppl who style themselves as "victims." Unlike earlier black ldrs, King helped to fix in the public mind the notion of blacks as victims.

Also unlike earlier ldrs, who had encouraged blacks to develop commerce among ourselves, King's ignorance led him to scorn "big business," for the same reasons offered by various types of collectivists. Whether or not King possessed any genuine ideological attachment is questionable, but his preachments helped to make economic dependency a respectable option for blacks. Along w/ white liberals and radicals, he encouraged blacks to think of the world's store of goods as holdings to be allocated by a kindly gov't. Far from encouraging blacks to take economic initiatives, King was among the most politically correct when it came to advocating the redistribution of other ppl's income.

It matters not what the motives were at play here, the result is that black men were not only economically emascualted, they were taught that playing an economically aggressive role was anthetical to black progress- since the goal of integration w/ whites was paramount. Ali charges that King introduced black men to "voluntary masochism," actually requiring them to exhibit weakness, in order to demonstrate loyalty to the "cause".

It is this no-economic approach to black problems, as preached by King, which ultimatley led to the loss of moral authority. It does not take deep thinking to recognized the link between economic dominance and authority. The 60s should have been the beginnings of our most economically creative period in America. Instead, blacks were encouraged to leave such tasks to others and to settle for the fruits to be gained in the long, unpredictable march to "equality."

Now I don't agree w/ many of the things presented here. However, it may be interesting to understand why our community hasn't significantly made progress economically w/ so many political "gains" we may have made. The answer is simple: we didn't develop the economic base to coincide w/ the politics. We have examples of how politics work in this country: money is needed to make any politics work. Money which our community lacks b/c its "ldrs" siffen off of our own poverty, along w/ their liberal friends.

It's time for a change in leadership and strategy in the black community.

A favorite saying among those who wish to rationalize male abandonement of families is a maxim attributed to Africa: "It takes a whole village to raise a child." In the context of the United States, what this really means is it takes the resources from the white man's village (AFDC, welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, public housing) to raise the black man's child. Some of our more skilled cop-out artists claim that, in order to find sol'ns to black social problems, "We must take them to another level." This really means that we should divest ourselves of responsibility and turn them over to others. Such attiutdes are reflected in two separate incidents during the 1992 Presidential campaign.

At one of candidate Ross Perot's "town mtgs," a black woman rose to ask his advice on how citizens might handle the crime and general mayhem that prevails in so many "minority" neighborhoods. Daddy Perot appeared momentarily perplexed. Could it be that he restrained himself from responding, "If you don't know what to do lady, how should I?" (Ross Perot could have easily said something to that effect seeing his campaign style had a lot of one-liner quick sayings. However, he could not afford another embarassing statement showing any insensitivity like before addressing blacks as "you ppl.") At a similar event presided over by candidate Bill Clinton, a black man, sounding emotional and looking a bit teary-eyed, begged Clinton for advice on what to do about the crime being committed by "urban" youth.

The loss of male authority and guidance has exaggerated the role that politicians and other outsiders are expected to play, enlarging their powers among blacks. For blacks, politics has become a drug. And when all problems are labeled "political," even the misbehavior of (our) children, one can expect to solve them only in the political arena. (And here is where our "ldrs" make their money). Those closest to the problems are conveniently absolved of responsibility for finding sol'ns. And, by further claiming that all problems are "universal" and not particular, even men's abandonement of children, no personal responsibility should even be expected.

The Cop-Outs

In their zeal to offer excuses for their own inaction, black militants join w/ the middle class elites in standing truth on its head. For, whenever one of their excuses for failing to engage in economic competition is shown for the fraudulent cop-out it is, they set about contriving more elaborate ones. "We aspire must to a higher Afrocentrist ideal, unsilled by materialistic greed," says the militant. And, have you heard this one? "We are too noble to participate in the system that raped Africa and the 3rd World."

While the militant/nationalist/Afrocentrist continues to expend his energy shouting obscenties at the white man or joining w/ the elites to extort some new quota-based perk, another industrious Asian buys a bldg on his block. It is a given that white and Asian men are obligated to create jobs for black men. (This may make one wonder why Koreans and Vietnamese have no respect for us). For, only members of these grps are expected to enlarge the economic pie. It is not even suggested, for example, that the itinerant preacher, Jessie Jackson would do better by his race as the owner of a manufacturing plant that generates enough wealth to employ others.

Nationalists like Martin Delany and Marcus Garvey never could have imagined the advantages blacks now possess. Such men surely would be stunned and dismayed at the opportunities squandered.

What Might Have Been?

Imagine the different course we might now be on if, in the 60s Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver Bobby Seale and Huey Newton had been on fire to make manifest the economic strategies of Booker T Washington and Marcus Garvey-instead of resorting to temper tantrums in the symbiotic dance w/ the white man. What might have come of a movement led by thousands of militant men who chose to put righteous indignation to work as builders, rather than as destroyers? Of course, such fantasizing presupposes a militant mind set devoid of Marxist pretensions and free from the influence of white radicals. The militant shrewdly deduced, as did the followers of King, that confrontation w/ whites was the easier road to take than that of economic competition. Yet a nationalist idol of the militants long ago enjoined black men to take just the opposite course. "Let each one make the case his own and endeavor to rival his neighbor in honorable competition," intoned Martin Delany. After declaring that the means to develop manhood were w/in the reach of black men, he then asked, "Are we willing to try them?"

Following the Liberals

Black preachers, politicians and civil rights ldrs form a strong protective circle. The politician support the civil rights defender, who, in turn, advances the agendas of the politician, and the preacher, from his pulpit, advances the causes of both. Black preachers are notorious for their blind support of black politicians (Remember those who rallied behind former DC mayor Marion Barry, who cried foul b/c he was a target of a sting operation by the FBI? The main question, again, here which was never asked by our "ldrs" was: Why was he abusing his office and smoking cocaine to begin w/? And he has the nerve to tell young black kids in DC not to use drugs! Black ppl in DC should have been screaming for his head. Instead, he was insulated from such cries by black politicians from the federal level and locally along w/ some preachers.), and are often accused of acting as "fronts." One day, in a DC delicatessen, customers chuckled among themselves, as they were subjected to a radio commercial by someone who identified himself as pastor of a local church. He exhorted listeners to vote for the former Mayor Marion Barry, a man who just returned to politics after a stint in jail for using drugs (And DC citizens still voted him in office as a councilman in the city, now. Again, recently he is supposed to be running for mayor. One has to wonder if black folx in DC won't run him out of town. They should b/c he's the worst example of any black politician.)

All of these crusaders invoke the name of King and other civil rights martyrs, to remind blacks of the humiliations suffered to win the vote and to integrate white institutions. To be subservient to the agendas and dictates of ppl Ben Chavis, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and hundreds of self-styled "ldrs" just like them across country, is to demonstrate loyalty to King. As the last 30 years prove, this controlling device works. The ghost of King is responsible for the continued support of some of the most retrograde social policies.

Most of these worthies are not "ldrs" at all. They wait as they observe societal trends and follow accordingly. As knee-jerk supporters pf every cause espoused by white liberals, they make each os these causes their own. Although much of liberal policy has helped to undermine and destroy the last vestiges of the black family, these loyalists remain undaunted.

Only now, after commentaries on recent crimes committed by blacks are publicly shaming black "ldrs", have many of these notables picked up the call for blacksto stop killing blacks. (Where have they been all this time that now they mention this?) It will be interesting to see how many conferences, seminars and workshops can be milked out of Anheuser-Busch and the Ford Foundation for this latest expression of concern.

Whites Need a Cirlce of Blacks

Making common cause and alliances even w/ the morally depraved is considered "shrewed politics." NAACP functionaires and a great many black pastors fell right in line w/ the liberal-inspired policy of pushing condoms on children. (This policy is going down to children in their early puberty years as young as 5-6th grades. Forget about whether or not parents should have a role in this, or other family member in providing this guidance, some liberals along w/ our "ldrs" have decided that children should have these condoms. Forget about this being a parent or family responsibility, eventhough our tax money is being used {to purchase these condoms}, no one has consulted the community for its feelings on the matter.) The rise of Joycelen Elders epitomizes this tendency to mimic all things liberal. In her silly mock Admiral's costume, adorned w/ medal and military ribbons, this caricature preaches her msg of promiscuous sex to a generation of children who have already lost so much of the uniqueness of childhood. A comical figure, Elders never misses the opportunity to repeat he favorite memorized line: "we've taught our kids how to behave in the front seat of a car; now let's teach them how to behave in the back seat."

Since civil rights game initially revolved around blacks, whites, surmised that, in order to give a particular cause the image of being part of the Universal Moral Struggle, they must enlist a cirlce of blacks. From abortionists to environmentalists to feminists to homosexuals, there is sure to be an auxiliary of blacks, who lend their voices to the latest white-inspired crusade. (It is easily understandable why homosexuals, femi- nists and other radical whites feel they can use our population. They claim their "struggles" are synonymous to ours, thusly they need their own Civil Rights addendum, to be included w/ our problems. When, in reality, their particular problems may have no relevance to our's at all.)

Along w/ the NAACP, most black preachers and politicians have publicly supported the demands of homosexuals, who wish to intrude information about their debased customs into school curriculums and even to infiltrate organizations like the Boy Scouts. In contrast, the black masses have adamant in thier rejection of intrusive homosexual dogma. So much so, that Hoolywood has resorted to creating a ridiculous, sentimental motion picture, in order to put politically correct supportive of an AIDS-infected white homosexual in the mouth of a black actor. We can expect more such propaganda devices, as blacks prove a worrisome obstacle to those promoting deviant sexual behavior.

Our "ldrs" have bought into liberal policies that have weakended laws, so that even the judicial system can no longer be counted on to protect innocent citizens from incorrigle criminals and sociopaths. Worst of all, policies that have diminshed the fear of strict punishment have also eliminated incentives for young, first-time offenders to mend their ways and turn away from criminal lifestyles.

Black leadres do not hestitate to fight fellow blacks on such issues as forced school bussing (Many blacks see this as irrelevant. What we want is equal education of our children- which we won't in public schools. Integration doesn't guarantee equal education.), even deploying legal swat teams to do so. (Polly Williams- a black state representative experienced this same harassment from Milwaukee's school board over such an incident. And the NAACP was on the side of the school board, even though bussing her children would not give them a better school- something which she stood grounds on, and eventually won.) In fact, due to their ties to white teachers unions (something I brought out before on the School Choice thread sometime ago), these "ldrs" are forced to opposed the the establishment of independent schools especialy for black boys. Bill Kilpatrick, on "Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong: Moral Illiteracy and the Case for Character Education," traces historically the importance of all-male schools run by men, and criticizes attempts by feminists ideologues and others to undermine efforts to maintain such schools today. In "The Endangered Black Family," sociologists Nathan Hare describes cases in which white feminists have marshalled black women to stymie attempts to create schools for boys, as blacks are pulled into what he calls the "uni- sexual, anti-family" movement.

W/ so many of our youth in trouble, blacks should have been among the 1st to protest removal of prayer from the schools, to further instigate sex among children. Instead, black elites were among the earliest andeasiest co-opted by liberal "educators".

As has long been maintained, civil rights organizations and those who earn their livings supposedly fighting for old-line civil rights causes, no longer have a place in American society. (That is, their liberal views. Much of mainstream society has the same problem, but our "ldrs" feel its important for us to mimic every liberal thing mainstream society has, so why not copy them?) But we can expect such ppl to remain intact for decades to come. The experience of Peter Collier can be compared to those blacks whose lives are focused on thedrives for civil rights.

In "Destructive Generation: 2d Thoughts About the '60s," Collier, former, 60s radical editior of Ramparts magazine, tell of the fear that gripped him as as anit-war activist, when it appeared that there might be a cessation to the Vietnam War. He says he was terrified by the thought, "What if it ends?" For his whole being was thoroughly tied to the casue of "fighting inustice" that he hardly knew where he left off and where the cause began. He claims that after the war, like many of his movement friends, he felt "cast adrift." His involvement in the anti-war movement had actually "defined" him, so who was he now?

Collier's experience can be directly applied to those blacks who possess no identity outside of The Struggle. Like the anti-war radical, if the mssn were to end, where would they go to get a life? (So quite naturally, all nebuluous "causes" becomes fair game for "lending" black masses support. Ldrs of the NAACP eagerly join many causes w/out even consulting the community 1st. They do it in their own organization, so it is quite likely the overall community has no input until it is announced. And we think everything coming out of these backroom mtgs is gospel for our community b/c our "ldrs" support it.) But, unlike the anti-war radical, the civil rights activist discovered that, thru intimidation of a complaint and easily coerced American society, he could keep his "war" alive forever (especially if there are many meaningless "causes" to attach themselves to.)

Who Loses if Blacks Win?

It is in no one's interest for blacks ever to leave the sinkhole of poverty, or to form a robust, healthy business class. It's obviously not in the interest of those who are part of the immense social service industry- the endless stream of social workers, counselors and growing number of "experts."

It's not in the interest of civil rights organizations, whose administrators earn the their bread off the needy masses. Nor is it in the interst of the black middle class whose numbers hold up the poor to demand ever more special privileges for themselves.

The end of a black underclass would not be in the interests of academics, for whom the distressed poor provide fodder for thier ever- so-clever theses, monographs, doctorates, journal articles, books, and inventive, kinky courses. A strong black business class certainly is not in the interest of polticians, black or white. The black politician, especially is dismayed by the prospect of a strongly developed class of entrepeneurs as potential usurpers of his power and authority.

A world devoid of poor blacks is not in the interest of mainstream media, for whom our troubles provide the most titillating morsels for those nightly news/ entertainment shows and those grim serialized features that fill the pages of newspapers and magazines (and by such many unfair stereotypes are perpetually kept in motion in the minds of all America about the black community). And, most, tragically, the loss of an underclass is not in the interest of the increasing numbers of black entertainers whose music, routines characterizatins and talk shows are built around the existence of black pathologies.

A Few Good Men

All it would take to begin the reversal of our community's decline are a few good men. Men determined, 1st, to stand up to preachers, (I know there are some preachers who are really concerned about the community's welfare spiritually. These statements do not apply to them obviously.) politicians and civil rights demagogues- all the bullies who are kept in place primarily through the white liberals' propaganda machine. Men ready to galvanize blacks to begin operating in our own best interests. Men who are ready to help return us to that time in our history, when economics was at the top of the agenda and it was considered imperative to learn the workings of the marketplace, inside out. (This was the legacy our ancestors had. Obviously we can't continue down the path where our current "ldrs" take advantage of our apathy for their own purposes. In fact, I pointed out some of the exact things Ms Wright is saying now many times.)

As economist Thomas Sowell teaches (and many in our community diss this guy b/c he is a "conservative". Anybody who doesn't offer the same kind of thinking is considered such nowadays, as if it means anything. It means that, eventhough the ideas may some validity, b/c one dares to challenge our status quo "ldrs", they write this thinking off. The "ldrs" do this b/c it puts one on the defensive while they don't explain their ulterior motives w/ their white liberal friends. The community needs to know we have to get a chance to understand which real direction we should go. Only one idea is given them, and we don't challenge our "ldrs" b/c they are black; and they would never do anything bad for us...... -NOT!) we should keep in mind the case of Singapore, which once was a subjugated colony of Great Britain. Since its liberation in 1959, Singapore's per capita income has far outstripped that of its former colonial master. The country's citizens did not look backward and whine about their former captivity. Instead, they met the British on their onw commercial turf- and bested them. (Now, in anticipation, someone may say, "but the ppl of Singapore did not have their culture stripped from," etc., etc. Well, since the Harlem Renaissance and thruout our years here in the US, we've developed a culture. So what is the excuse now? We have to move on from this point and become builders regardless. Sowell's example is very right on time if we wish to move forward. What's really killing us is our moral decline, in this regard and we need to challenge our "ldrs".)

Such a goal was the heart of Booker T Washington's strategy, that is, beat them at their own game. Today, he might have advised us to take our cues from the Japanese who, after a humiliating defeat, (in WW II) went on to taste the sweet revenge of economic superiority. (Even today, this country has much of its land and industry so intertwined w/ Japanese investment, the Clinton Administration has to really watch itself if the gov't wishes to engage in a trade war w/ Japan. If the Japanese were to pull their investment capital out of the US industrial base, this country would be in serious economic trouble.) When has there ever been a sweeter revenge than success?

Our men could lead us as we press for the kinds of "rights" all Americans deserve. (Right here, once our economic house is set right, then the politicians would be beating a path to our doors for serious support. At least, we won't be taken for granted all the time, or become cannon fodder for more ambitious social scientists looking for a grp to study.) Like the right for every parent to choose his/her children's schools; the right to be free of gov't regulation that restrict access to the marketplace by those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder; (us; that's right us. The gov't does this everytime w/ it's welfare programs. They stop us from using intiative and being creators of businesses, and thereby become builders.) and the right to be protected from random crime, not behind the doors of our homes, but in all public places, at any time day or night.

It is the black elite, as represented by the "old guard leadership", who have opened our race to meddling outsiders and mischief makers. The undermining of this leadership would strip white liberals and radicals of their base of operation among blacks. Outsiders would possess no more power to meddle in our affairs (and isn't that what we want, anyway?) than they have among American Poles, Greeks or Asians.

Heeding the call of businessman Jesse Peterson, black men should cease reacting to circumstances created by others and begin to create new sets of conditions. Peterson calls upon black men to "reclaim an outlook that emphasizes objectivity and personal initiative." For too long have blacks allowed whites to be (our) focus and reference. This attitude was reflected recently in the comments of a prominent Harlem minister. Discussing some policy he was advocating, in a radio interview, he proudly stated, "We've been getting a lot of negative feedback from whites, so you know this plan must be right." Unwittingly, he, like so many blacks, was sending this msg to our youth to measure their achievement or aims by the degree to which they can aggravate white folks. What an immature, worthless msg children to be hearing from their elders.

Spiritual and Economic Health Linked

A candid exploration of the motives of certain members of the clergy is by no means to be cynical about the role of religion. Men who are genuinely committed to the Christian Gospel, and believe in its power to transform, need not feel affronted by such observations and questions (as presented in this article). But the time has come for blacks to reflect on the many ppl who had entered the church "trade" for all the wrong reasons and, unfortunately for us, wield a disporportionate amount of power (w/in our community, as they continue to expand their influence by their political affiliations).

In this Amercian environment where, for decades, a clique of intellectuals have been diligently working to bring about a society emptied of conventional values personal religious faith is more critical than ever. As mainstream society veers away from the security of traditional religious anchors and nurtures, forces determinedto destroy long-cherished supports, blacks are greatly affected. (If mainstream society is going down the tubes morally, it appears our "ldrs" who so much may still cling to the last vestiges of integration, want our community to go down those same tubes. We have our own destiny forged by our ancestors, and we need to get back our course.)

Using the moral force derived from religion, whether it be rooted in Christianity of Islam- the 2 religious cultures to which most blacks adhere- black men should take the lead in opposing those who are working to abolish every vestigeof religion in American life (here's where we, as black men, are not speaking up and taking the offensive on the moral high ground in our community. Consequently our families, from this moral standpoint, are falling apart from w/in. And no political movements can restore the damage of our turning away from our spiritual and moral heritage). We should reject those who, assisted by an all- powerful media, are vengefully going about the task of diluting traditonal religious doctrine, while replacing them w/ trendy psyochotherapeutic fetishes, 12 Step programs and "sel-help" 800 numbers. As crime and broken families unravel American society at the seams, blacks should join w/ activists Christians, religious Jews, and Muslims believers, to rool back the poisonous tide that is eroding our moral climate.

Booker Twashinton was not the 1st to acknowledge the link between the economic and the spiritual. He repeatedly emphasized how closely the "moral and spiritual interests" are interwoven w/ a grp's material and economic wealth." (And it should also be noted that Booker T Washington wasn't the 1st to understand this. Anybody who reads the Book of Proverbs: {Proverbs 14:34, I believe} says, "righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any ppl." This is so true.)

Strengthening our resolve to ground our families in traditional moral values will better prepare us to compete on all fronts, including the economic one. (So we have to ask ourselves, now that we understand how we drifted so far off course as a ppl, we need to pray to God to help us get back on course.)

--------------------------end of article----------------------------

They don't understandmoral issues (such as the delcine of our families) can't be solve via political fronts. They need a spiritual rejuvenation. Some "preachers" are trying to this and they should know better. And they should know better, by trying to solve problems (which have roots in our moral decline) via political fronts.And we have to challenge our "ldrs" when they hand us "traditional sol'ns via gov't programs.


Date: Wed, 15 Jun 1994 20:59:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Arthur R. McGee"
From: "-Blad"
Subject: Black Men: They could be Heroes